Protecting Seasonal Workers from COVID-19

If we have fresh food on our table these days, and we can enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables from our fields all year round, it’s thanks to the seasonal farmers who work outside, day and night, tirelessly, and we have to and need to protect them.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have widespread impacts on workforces worldwide, seasonal workers are among those bearing the brunt of the crisis. Human rights groups and other associations have warned that these workers are disproportionately at risk from the impact of the pandemic, due to inadequate and crowded living conditions, lockdowns and harsh containment measures, limited access to healthcare and basic services, poor working conditions and exploitative labor systems.

Usually, seasonal workers enjoy a broad set of rights, but given the temporary nature of their work, they can be more vulnerable to precarious working and living conditions. The coronavirus pandemic has given more visibility to these conditions, and in some cases has exacerbated them. This should concern us all since such problems can increase the risk of COVID-19 clusters.

Recently, the European Commission presented a set of guidelines to ensure the protection of seasonal workers in the EU in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. It provides guidance to national authorities, labor inspectors, and social partners to guarantee the rights, health and safety of seasonal workers, and to ensure that they are aware of their rights.

The guidelines cover a range of aspects, such as:

  • The right of seasonal workers to work in an EU Member State regardless of whether they are EU nationals or come from countries outside the EU.
  • Suitable living and working conditions, including physical distancing and appropriate hygiene measures.
  • Clear communication to workers of their rights.
  • Undeclared work.
  • Social security aspects.

We are working hard to create a safe environment for everyone

At We Shield we are currently sourcing and distributing the highest-quality PPE throughout the U.S. at a competitive price and time, we import our safety supplies via private cargo planes multiple times a week and have the experience, certifications, and connections to expedite the process and make it as affordable as possible to support the immediate safety goals of our clients.